Tone is the single most important thing to get right when making a film derived from a comic book. Of course, there are other factors that are almost as equally critical to a comic book film’s success as tone. The villains are also amazing, but a huge part of their contributions to the overall brilliance of the film is their failure to dominate it. Not to imply that the villains are poorly fleshed out or inconsequential to the story – quite the opposite in fact. This movie is awesome and a complete triumph for DC, Warner Brothers, Nolan, and everyone else involved.. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Set the right tone, and the film can be a critical and commercial success, pleasing even the most die-hard fans of the source material.
Casting the right actors to give life to the characters is a huge one, as is choosing the right director and screenwriter to adapt the material. A creature of the night that hunts from the shadows, strikes without warning, and vanishes into the darkness like a nightmare.


He doesn’t drive around the city streets in the Batmobile in broad daylight, waving to cheering citizens. It understands that and washes all of these injustices away until they are nothing more than a faded bad memory. His voice is a gravelly, menacing sound, and when he yells at some poor schmuck to get some information, it’s downright terrifying. The previous Batman movies were plagued by these cackling idiots in ludicrous costumes who pushed Batman to the back burner. Cillian Murphy is a very effective Scarecrow, turning in a subdued, but intensely creepy performance as a warped psychiatrist who uses fear gas on his victims, unleashing horrifying hallucinations. Sadly, that generation exists only in an alternate dimension where George Lucas became supreme overlord of the Earth in 1979 and replaced every television broadcast and theatrical film on the planet with Star Wars and Godzilla movies. Strike the wrong tone, however, and the movie will be shredded to pieces, injected with the most poisonous critical venom; utterly alienating the fans of the source material. But tone is where the heart of the picture lies…it is the mysterious, intangible force that can pop these pulp heroes off the page or bury them in a dusty box. The character is never meant to be seen by the general public, he is merely meant to exist in their whispers, an urban myth that is talked about in hushed tones throughout Gotham City.


In Batman Begins, we finally get to spend some time with the hero, learning who he really is behind the mask. It’s a dark, serious film that leaves little room for humor, but some sneaks through in the form of some witty exchanges between loyal butler Alfred (a brilliant Michael Caine), and Bruce Wayne. In this dimension, he’s just a guy from New England who likes writing snarky things about superheroes, monsters, and robots. He doesn’t wear a costume with rubber nipples or operate vehicles with spinning neon turbine engines and open cockpits. But things are not what they appear with this situation, and a shocking twist comes into play towards the climax. The rest of the cast is solid, especially Gary Oldman, who finally gives us a competent, intelligent James Gordon.



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